Collins, King, Poliquin Urge Department of Labor to Approve Assistance for Displaced Expera Mill Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Congressman Bruce Poliquin, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez urging him to approve the recently-filed petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to assist the 195 displaced workers who are expected to lose their jobs following Expera’s announcement that it will close its Old Town mill due to foreign competition in the paper industry.  ‎ 

“Given the closing of two other major pulp and paper mills in Penobscot County, Maine, in just the last 18 months, these talented and experienced mill workers will face an enormous hurdle in identifying and securing meaningful alternative employment for which they have the qualifying skills,” said the lawmakers in their letter.  “As a result, it is crucial that these workers receive the retraining and reemployment resources available through TAA certification that will allow them to get back on their feet quickly and continue making critical contributions to our economy.” 

The letter to Labor Secretary Perez is available HERE, and the full text is below:

 

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October 5, 2015

The Honorable Thomas Perez
Secretary
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20210

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are writing in support of the recently filed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition to assist 195 workers at the Expera Specialty Solutions pulp mill in Old Town, Maine, who are being displaced due in large measure to increased foreign competition within the pulp industry.

            Significant increases in pulp production by foreign competitors have led to a drastic drop in pulp prices and forced Expera Specialty Solutions to cease pulp production at the Old Town, Maine facility.  Given the closing of two other major pulp and paper mills in Penobscot County, Maine, in just the last 18 months, these talented and experienced mill workers will face an enormous hurdle in identifying and securing meaningful alternative employment for which they have the qualifying skills. As a result, it is crucial that these workers receive the retraining and reemployment resources available through TAA certification that will allow them to get back on their feet quickly and continue making critical contributions to our economy.

We urge that you review this Trade Adjustment Assistance application in a timely manner, consistent with all applicable rules and regulations, to ensure that these trade-affected workers receive the assistance they need to obtain work and maintain their financial stability. 

Thank you for your consideration on behalf of the workers at the Expera Specialty Solutions pulp mill in Old Town, Maine.

Sincerely,